When it comes to hydroelectric dams, there are two sides of the debate and both have valid points to make. While hydroelectric dams could provide us with one of our most viable forms of energy and decrease our reliance on harmful fossil fuels, it is difficult to harness the power of our natural resources without experiencing any adverse effects. The following is an examination of the pros and cons of hydroelectric dams.
List of Pros of Hydroelectric Dams
1. Renewable Energy
Hydroelectric dams provide us with a renewable form of energy, which is becoming increasingly important in a world where energy consumption is at an all time high, but resources continue to dwindle. Finding a form of energy that we cannot simply use up is important to our long term survival. Hydroelectric dams are considered to be a large part of our future.
2. Environmentally Friendly
When hydroelectric dams are used to generate energy, this leads to a significant decrease in overall pollution. Unlike other forms of energy that create smog and contaminate the surrounding areas, the only pollution that is experienced by those who live in close contact with a hydroelectric dam happens during the construction of the dam.
Hydroelectric dams are a very reliable source of energy and there are very few fluctuations in how much power they produce. Should more energy be required, the output is able to be adjusted. If a nation has an abundance of water, they are able to use hydroelectric dams as a base source of energy. Roughly 20 percent of the world’s energy is now produced in this manner.
List of Cons of Hydroelectric Dams
1. Costly To Build
It probably comes as no surprise that building and establishing a hydroelectric dam is a costly endeavor. It is not cheap or easy to build a power plant of any kind and hydroelectric dams are no exception to that rule. While a plant can be run with very few workers and do not cost very much from a maintenance standpoint, the initial investment may be too much for some economies.
2. Limited Areas To Build
Unfortunately, many areas of the world are unable to enjoy the benefits of hydroelectric energy. Most of the reservoirs that are suitable for building a hydroelectric dam have already been gobbled up. With so few places to build, construction of hydroelectric dams has come to a standstill of sorts, with very few new dams currently under construction.
3. Droughts Can Happen
There is no way to control when a drought may or may not take place. If droughts happen, then this has a direct effect on a country’s ability to obtain hydroelectric energy from their dam. The ability to generate electricity is compromised and the availability of water comes into question.